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Skip Gyms, Exercise Outside

Posted By Jim On 03/13/2009 @ 11:06 am In Personal Finance | 25 Comments

Joining a gym can be very expensive. Between the “initiation” fees and the monthly membership fees, I know some people paying nearly three figures a month for their memberships. We’re fortunate in that our neighborhood gym charges a mere $30 a month per person, but it’s subsidized by our local taxes, which we’d pay regardless of our gym membership. It’s something we do because exercising is important to us and while we don’t go as often as we should, we go more often than we would if we didn’t have the membership!

That being said, there are plenty of free alternatives for us, especially once the weather becomes nicer. The best example we have is when my wife and I take walks around a nearby lake. The entire walk is approximately three miles and has some very minor changes in elevation, so you do get your blood pumping, but it’s hardly a “work out.” But, it’s still three miles of walking and that’s better than not walking three miles, right? Best of all, it’s free. While we have to pay some local taxes that go towards it’s upkeep, anyone can visit the park and enjoy the scenery.

As an added bonus, there are little exercise stations all along the path. There are benches for sit-ups, monkey bars, pull-up bars, balance beams, etc. It’s a fun little diversion and you could work in a pretty good workout using each station. And, if you don’t consider walking to be much of a workout, simply run it. When it’s nicer, I like to go on runs occasionally, when it’s a little warmer than freezing, to get the blood flowing.

What are your favorite free exercise options?


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